Thursday, November 3, 2016

"When The Night Stole Her" teaser from Tales Beyond The Ninth World


The wonders of the Ninth World—our Earth, a billion years in the future—aren’t bounded by worldly shores. The ancients built their empires into the seas, the stars, and even into other realities. Go beyond the Ninth World’s shores in Tales Beyond the Ninth World, an anthology of three short stories, including "When The Night Stole Her" that begins as so: 
Kalice’s daughter Neela used to sleep on the terrace on warm nights, the small girl’s hands and head poking out of the blanket. Seven years old, Neela hadn’t yet learned to be afraid of the dark. She loved the stars. Kalice used to point out constellations to her daughter, making up names for the ones she didn’t know. Kalice had loved the stars, too, until the night Neela was killed.
Kalice started awake from a dream of a black sun and smoking furrows extending long, tumbling scratches across the sky. Grey-haired Lthermo was across the room, bent over his scintillating device of synth and kinked wires that he’d assembled in her foyer. 
Why was he—? Oh. Sleep lifted its cloak of un- remembering. Her daughter was gone. The emptiness of her loss seemed to widen as she rediscovered its depths, like an actual pit in her chest carved through her ribs and heart. Kalice gasped in real pain. 
Lthermo heard her. Seeing that she was awake, he gestured at his mechanism. “It’s fixed. I’m sure of it this time. The power source was weak. I’ve replaced it.” He opened his mouth again, then closed it, leaving something unsaid. He did that sometimes. 
Kalice didn’t have the emotional space to wonder what he wasn’t saying, because anguish filled her. She massaged her neck. He presumably had a whole house of secrets. To her, it was sorcery. Before Neela had gone missing, Kalice didn’t wonder about the magic of the ancients. Now, it was the only route to her salvation. She had to find her daughter. She had to! Nothing else mattered. Not even the fact that her daughter was dead.
Dead here, but not dead everywhere.

And so Kalice goes looking for her daughter in parallel dimensions where Neela wasn't killed, which is just one of three new short Tales Beyond The Ninth World.



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